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Gamer Storm Maelstrom 240 Review

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Gamer Storm Maelstrom 240 Closer Look:

The radiator and pump, along with the water tubes, look to be the in the standard arrangement that you would find with most of the AIO liquid coolers available today. The first thing I noticed was that the plastic FEP (fluorinated ethylene propylene) water tubes seem a bit small, but I also have the Cooler Master Nepton 280L sitting off to the side. The water tubes on the Nepton are huge by comparison, so that may be distorting my perception, but as long as you can move the water through the tubes quickly enough, that is all that matters. The tubes are indeed flexible, which allows for easy installation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The round, low profile pump body has the GAMER STORM logo on top, which lights up and pulses, or slowly "breathes" when it is powered up via a while LED. This is a cool feature refered to by DEEPCOOL as the "Bionic LED Breathing Light", which certainly begs to be shown off in a case with a nice side window. The 90° tube fittings on the pump base swivel to facilitate the tube angle when you install the radiator. You may notice that there is only a single three-pin power lead coming off the pump body. Many AIO coolers also provide fan control through the pump, so you would expect to see additional wiring to supply fan power. Not on the Maelstrom. It handles the fan power delivery a little differently.

 

 

The Maelstrom 240 uses a separate remote fan hub that can control up to four PWM fans from a single PWM fan header on your motherboard - preferably one of the CPU fan headers. On the bottom of the hub base, there is some double-sided tape that allows you to mount it in your case. Make sure you do a test fit to see if all your fan cables will reach before you stick it in position.

 

While we are talking about the pump, below are two photos from DEPCOOL that illustrate the technology behind the pump internals, which show the closed pump impeller that minimizes vibration to reduce the noise signature of the pump. Additionally, a ceramic Zirconia bearing is used to keep the impeller spinning freely with minimal drag, which coupled with the proprietary pump impeller promises a 120,000+ hour lifespan. The cooling plate used in the pump housing measures 52x68mm and features a series of .22mm microchannels cut into the copper contact plate to improve thermal transfer from the CPU IHS to the cooling medium. Using more thinner channels is a way to improve thermal performance much like the design used by Corsair on the new H60.

 

 

The plastic protective cover keeps the factory-installed thermal paste from being smudged in shipment. The cover pops off, allowing you to install the side mounting brackets to the pump housing.

 

 

The side mounting brackets attach easily to the pump base with two screws per bracket. Now we are ready to install the baseplate to the rear of the motherboard, but first let's talk about the fans.

 

 

The GF120 PWM fans have nine thin blades to move the air through the radiator and carry the heat away from your CPU. As you may have noticed, the fans are red and if you like red-themed hardware (I am a fan of the ASUS ROG series for my personal system, so I am partial to the red), then you will be happy to add these to your system. If you don't care for red, or have a different color scheme, then you may not be so happy.

The fans use a fluid dynamic bearing for long life and the plastic frame is 100% wrapped by a TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) layer to reduce vibrations. From the DEEPCOOL website: "Especially design blades with centralized flow design creates outstanding static pressure and focuses the airflow for superior performance on heatsinks and radiators." Another nice touch is that the fan cables are sheathed with a braided plastic cover. And finally, the fan impeller is detachable for quick, easy cleaning. It took a little effort to get it to pop off, but it does indeed come off!

 

 

Here is the base plate, which requires a little additional assembly. There are four studs that fit into the holes in the four corners of the base plate, and the adjustable stud locations are based on which socket you have. After you get the studs lined up, there are little plastic clips that slide over the ends and lock the studs in postion to keep them from moving around during installation. Of course there is hardware for an AMD installation too.

 

 

After the radiator is mounted above and the fans are plugged into the remote header (which I have dangling off to the side for now), the power is turned on, and we are ready for testing. The logo on the pump cover starts to "breathe" as the system powers up. The red fans are a perfect compliment to the MSI motherboard color scheme.

 




  1. Gamer Storm Maelstrom 240: Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Gamer Storm Maelstrom 240: Closer Look (Continued)
  3. Gamer Storm Maelstrom 240: Specifications & Features
  4. Gamer Storm Maelstrom 240 Testing: Setup & Results
  5. Gamer Storm Maelstrom 240: Conclusion
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